Sunday, September 24, 2001 by Martin
Title: Knowledge for Sale!
By: Daina Darzin
by Daina Darzin
Originally published in PWC (Painting
and Wallcovering Contractor)
The Faux Finish School: 17th-century
castle wall recreated from 11 layers
of drywall and plaster using Faux Effects
Want to make $50-100
painters can do just that, which is one
reason faux finishing schools are making
themselves available in many configurations,
from traditional classroom instruction to
videos to interactive Web sites.
"It's much more
lucrative," stated Martin Alan Hirsch,
director of The Faux Finish School in Louisville,
KY. Hirsch's contracting company, Decorative
Finishes Studio, just finished extensive
work in the home of a country music star,
he said, and "our income from three
weeks there was probably what a regular
painter contractor makes in six months."
Faux finishing classes are geared for everyone,
whether you're a rank beginner, an art school
dropout looking to start a new business,
or a working painting contractor. Several
instructors emphasized that you don't have
to be an artist to do faux finishes. Many
of the techniques are very simple, although
other, more complex methods involve duplicating
woodgrain or marble, which can require as
many as 15 separate steps, as well as trompe
l'oeil ("fool the eye"), which
does involve some artistic skill. The range
of classes available includes everything
from economically priced quick overviews
to a glamorous excursion to Europe to practice
hands-on faux finishing in an Italian villa.
Whichever you choose, the timing couldn't
be better: In terms of design trends, high-end
homeowners are striving to make their abodes
more individual and luxurious than ever.
Both current trends - homey, authentic Old
World looks and clean-lined, elegant contemporary
designs - lend themselves to faux applications.
Traditional-minded clients favor such techniques
as layered peeling paint and plaster finishes,
as well as classic frescoes. "As crazy
as our society is, customers want a sense
of permanence in their home, not some contemporary
wallpaper that is out of style in six months,"
said Hirsch. Modern design, on the other
hand, is perfect for more subtle pearlized
and metallic faux finishes. Either way,
the market for unique decorative painting
is an ever-growing entity.
Back to school:
For those ready to take the plunge and make
a real commitment to decorative painting,
in-person schools offer a wide variety of
instruction. In most cases, the instructors
also run a full-time decorative painting
contracting business, thus keeping up with
current trends in the real marketplace.
Martin Alan Hirsch's The Faux Finish School
is a full-time working studio, now in its
12th year. Featuring three curriculums,
the first, The Art of Faux Finishing, is
designed for the contractor who wants to
get into the faux business. "We teach
the beginner or the person who's self-taught
the business and art of the field. We discuss
business and large-scale applications, including
prep," Hirsch said. The five-day course
Where will they apply their newly developed
skills? Hirsch noted that in the residential
market, foyers, dining rooms, and kitchens
are the most requested location for faux,
while in commercial, it's a popular request
in restaurant design. "They all seem
to be getting on this 'We're tired of wallpaper'
bandwagon," he said.
Hirsch insists that great creative ability
is not a requirement for success. "With
our more advanced levels, yes, you need
to be a little artistic," he admitted.
"But the rest is product and technique,
and the business end of it. What makes us
different is that we teach people how to
do this as a business; to complement their
contracting business or go into this full
The similarly priced Designer Wall Finishes
class, also five days, is geared for the
advanced decorative artist who has already
been in business for some time. Covering
more complex multi-layered finishes, such
as Old World frescoes, the class is designed
for pros who want new, impressive samples
for their portfolio. All of Hirsch's students
come in from out of town; a discount is
available at a hotel near the school.
Painting contractors frequently send their
most artistically minded employee to a faux
school, but Hirsch cautions this approach
can sometimes backfire. "The problem
that usually happens is we instruct them
so well, you lose them and they go out on
their own. They learn these techniques and
they see how lucrative this business is:
They're making $15 an hour and they could
be making $50." Hirsch said some contractors
make their employees sign a release, "saying
that we're going to send you to the school,
but you're going to be committed to me for
two years, otherwise you have to pay back
the cost of the school."
For those with more cash and time, the school's
third program is by far the most glamorous.
"We take a class to Italy for two weeks
and teach advanced marbling and woodgraining
in the field," Hirsch said. "We
stay in a villa in Tuscany. We also tour
the entire countryside - Venice, Rome, Florence."
The $4,200 for two weeks includes classes,
room and board, and everything but weekend
excursion travel and air fare from the student's
home to New York (air fare to Italy is included
in the package). "We base out of a
villa and travel to different locations.
This is where we take our students for inspiration."
Friday, September 1, 2001 by Terri
Title: Faux Finishing Marbling Tip
By: Ross O'Neal
Finishing Marbling Tip
by Ross O'Neal
Marble finishes are all the rage and
actually, not that difficult to achieve.
Marbling can be done on plates, gift
boxes, plaques, furniture, trim, floors,
but keep in mind it should be used in
places and situations where we find
real marble for the best effects. Here
Ross shares his technique for Greek
you will need:
stain blocking primer
worn sea sponge
3 small dishes will do
lettering brush, fine pointed long haired
brush and a small round brush
or gloss acrylic varnish or polyurethane
gloves if you feel they are necessary
is made from artist acrylic's and water
For the base glaze we use:
6 parts titanium white
2 parts raw umber
2 parts ultramarine blue
dash of black
Red Glaze: Red oxide plus a little vermillion,
burnt sienna chrome orange
Palette colors: white ,black, burnt umber
raw umber, ultramarine blue
to do it:
1. Prime the surface of the item using primer.
2. Drag and dab the sponge over the surface
to give the background texture. Add some
of the palette colors to make some areas
blender when completed. this will dry quick
because it's water base.
3. Repeat the process with a darker mix
of the colors. Apply more random so some
of the 1st layer shows through. Let dry.
4. Mix the red oxide; a lttle burnt sienna,
vermillion and chrome orange and a little
water. Make enough for the entire project.
paint over area,
leaving some areas uncovered, go back over
other areas again to add more depth. With
wipeout tool you can cut through glaze to
expose base in some
5. Make a very transparent glaze of burnt
umber and water. Sponge over red areas mainly
this is to add texture to the red area.
Now mix a darker
glaze of burnt umber and a little black.
6. Mix a opaque glaze of white plus a touch
of black, ultramarine blue and raw umber,
glaze should be a light gray-white color.Apply
surface with the corner of the worn sponge
lightly. Set aside for use later. With the
long haired fine pointed brush, add light
veining in raw umber,
make wavy breccia lines in all directions
some crossing others.
7. Add white to lighten gray white glaze
from above, with the pointed brush outline
one side of most of the gray shapes to create
a shadow and
8. With the round brush outline some gray
areas with white glaze with a touch of yellow
ochre. With the fine pointed brush add veins
stepped lines of various sizes across surfaceas
seen on the sample. Once varnished the surface
takes on the sheen of marble.
Variety is the key here with veining, give
each vein its own character by changing their
width and color depth . All this can be controlled
the pressure and the color strenghth on the
brush. Think about the marble you are reproducing
as you work you want to capture the fragmented
of the marble. Veins should be like small
fragments they should tremble slightly. They
should not be straight or look like crows
feet or snake
Here to view a sample of this technique.
Tuesday, August 1, 2001 by Terri
By: Ross O'Neal
by Ross O'Neal
Frottage stems from the French frotter,
which means "to rub". This finish looks
best applied in rich dark colours over
a lighter base coat.
and Supplies you will need for this Project:
semi-gloss paint, 1- light one for the
base and 1-a darker shade for the glaze
and paint tray
or sheets of craft paper
parts oil paint
parts oil-based glazing liquid
part paint thinner, 1 part Kerosin
By Step Instructions
1. BASE COAT: Apply two coats of the base
colour and let dry 2 to 3 hours for water
base, overnight for oil. (Oil or water-based
can be used)
2. Mix the coloured glaze, and apply it
to the wall in sections the size of the
craft paper, if your using plastic sheeting
you can actually to a whole wall at a time.
3. Immediately lay a sheet of craft paper
over the wet glaze, and smooth it out with
your hands. Then remove the paper. The sheets
of craft paper can be re-used several times
but be careful they don't get to saturated
or you will start getting different effects,
because it has a tendentic to remove more
glaze when you start. That's what is nice
about the plastic.
4. Roll more coloured glaze onto the next
section, overlapping the glaze onto the
edges of the previously glazed area, and
repeat step 3.
5. Without stopping, repeat steps 3 and
4 until 100% of the wall is covered. If
your using plastic you can get the cheap
.04 mill stuff get a helper and cover the
whole wall at once and work it.
6. Optional: once the paint is dry, apply
a coat of semi-gloss clear coat to add to
the richness of this effect.
Here to view a sample of this technique.
Saturday, January 8, 2001 by Terri
Title: How to Frottage
finish looks like a aged weathered plaster
wall when done in soft
Latex paint, glaze, extender, bucket,
painters tape, tray & roller,
paint brush, brown kraft paper enough to
cover wall surface
* a clean latex eggshell finish.
* mask off areas not to be painted
* lay drop sheets down
* cut kraft paper to aprox. 4' lengths
* crumple up paper, then smooth out
1. Mix 1 part paint & 5 parts glaze
in a large bucket
2. For a whole room add a container 500
ml. of extender
3. Stir well
4. Pour glaze mixture into paint tray
5. Roll out a 4'x4' section
6. Apply smoothed kraft paper to section
7. Peel off
Make sure you do not texture the outer 4"
section, this is called
the wet edge blend it in with your next 4'x4'
section. If you do not do this you will have
lap lines. For getting into the corners and
ceiling line use a stiff brush and a quick
jabbing action to bring the glaze to that
area. If you want to layer a second color
wait 4 hours for the first to dry. It is best
to do this technique with a buddy. One person
applying the glaze, the other texturing.
DO NOT CHANGE JOB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WALL.
Do the two opposite wall
same day, let dry. then the other two the
Please do some sample sheets first!!!!!
Work fast and have fun!
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